An empty belly can drown out the cry of an empty heart


Global Hunger Relief provides an avenue for believers to fulfill the biblical mandate to care for others, and it also makes it easier for those receiving the relief to be open to the voice of God. Just as hunger is an obstacle to children making the most of their time at school, an empty belly often shouts down the cry of an empty heart.

As October begins, let’s get an updated picture of this global crisis, and encourage those around us to respond individually and corporately. WMU has curricula for preschoolers, adults, and in Spanish, related to the issue of hunger relief.

As part of our new Plug-In Missions Ed initiative, Kentucky WMU encourages churches to get boys and girls involved in hunger relief. WMU’s e4 (engage explore, expand, and experience) series (pictured above) provides up to four weeks of focused learning and application for children at just a few dollars for the digital download. If you’ve never tried an e4 study before, this will be a great opportunity for you and your students to give it a test drive.

BREAK bus painted!

It is always a time of rejoicing when we hear about how EBO funds have made a difference in ministries across Kentucky. We received this letter from Kentucky missionary Beth Arnold.

painted-bus-1September 19, 2016
Dear Joy,
I just wanted to let you know our newly painted BREAK bus has been going to schools the last two weeks. The students have been excited and so pleased to see “their” bus looking so shiny and pretty. After receiving the EBO grant money we were still $3,700 short for the quoted $10,000 for paint and labor. After saving for three years and getting much closer to our goal, an individual (the man actually painting the bus) personally donated $1,200, then the painting company wrote off $2,500 still needed. I really think the EBO grant money pushing us up in reach of the needed amount is what motivated the generous giving. Thank you!

The BREAK decals are not put on yet but have been promised to be provided free, including the labor for applying. We hope to do that soon when we have a few days that the bus is not being used.

painted-bus-2I have attached two pictures of the BREAK bus at Whitley North Elementary taken last week the first day after getting it from the painters. This school has a very high attendance for students (participating in BREAK Bus). Two of the classes have 100 percent of the students enrolled in school.  Many children are hearing the Gospel each month. 

The EBO video is really impacting our getting the word out about the ministry. I have been to three churches this month in our county to set up a BREAK display and answer questions after the video was shown. I am also getting calls from outside the Tri-Counties with questions how to start a Bible Release Time in their community. I’m sure I will continue to use the video in sharing about the ministry.  I appreciate so much the opportunities EBO has provided for BREAK and especially the encouragement from you and Teresa Parrett. 

Please drop by for class if you are ever in the area. 
With Praise and Thanksgiving to our Lord!  Beth

break-busIf you want to see a BREAK bus in action, join us for the Kentucky WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting, March 31-April 1, 2017 in Corbin.

Reaching International Students


An important ministry which receives funding from the Eliza Broadus Offering is our work with international students on Kentucky college and university campuses. The next International Student Conference will be Nov. 4-6 in Cave City and we have been asked to start praying for this outreach event now.

This conference is sponsored by the Kentucky Baptist Convention for the purpose of helping international students make new friends, celebrate culture, and learn about the Christian faith. Many nations will be represented in the demographics of those who attend. Many of these young people have never heard the gospel before, have never been invited into an American home, and have never been sought out by an American for friendship.

Here are the things that you can pray for:
1) pray that Jesus may be lifted up so that all may be drawn to Him.

2) pray that members from local churches across the state, who will be leading during the conference, may be filled in the Holy Spirit.

3) pray that specifically 10 international students may come to know Christ and may begin being discipled by a local church in their area.

4) pray that this may be a conference that is exciting and fun, gospel centered, and God glorifying.

Thank you for your gifts to the Eliza Broadus Offering which helps to make this and other ministries with international students possible. Give to EBO through your church or online.

Be Ready – Live Ready!

BeReadyLiveReadyThe 2016 state missions emphasis, drawn from 1 Peter 3:15, is more than a slogan – it is a lifestyle!

At a time when the church was facing persecution, when times were difficult, when there was unrest and turmoil, Peter wrote to encourage believers.

1peter3-15versePeter wrote to tell the church that no matter what happened, they were to “honor the Messiah as Lord” and “always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”

This Peter writing to them was the same Peter who blurted out the confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It was the same Peter who momentarily walked on water then sank when he took his eyes off of Jesus. It was the same Peter who when asked about his relationship to Jesus, denied Him. But it was also the same Peter who was restored and became the mighty preacher of Pentecost. It was the Peter who had a vision that opened his eyes to God’s intent to include all people in His plan of salvation. Now Peter writes from the perspective of faith in Christ that has not only stood the test of time, but has grown stronger. He now writes, “always be ready.”

Are we ready? Are we ready to share Jesus with a coworker? Are we ready to share Jesus with the international who has moved into the neighborhood? Are we ready to share Jesus with the frazzled parent who comes to soccer practice?  Are we ready befriend the teenager with tattoos? Are we ready to help children who need help with their homework? The list goes on.

I spend Sunday evenings with ladies who attend Celebrate Recovery in Shelbyville. The group is for anyone with any hurt, habit, or hangup. While the majority of issues for most participants revolve around the life problems caused by alcohol and drug abuse, there are others who just need a safe place to tell their story.

Many of the participants in the Shelbyville Celebrate Recovery group walk over from Open Door of Hope, a homeless shelter, that has received EBO grants for several years. This is but one of a variety of ministries across Kentucky that reach out to people in need. Through the Eliza Broadus Offering, we are able to help Open Door of Hope and other ministries with grants to buy supplies and help with other expenses.

Through EBO, we (you and me!) assist our state Baptist convention with church planting and evangelism. EBO provides funds for work with college students and language ministries. It is an important part of church and community ministries.

2016statemissionsemphassiseboI hope your church will show a state missions video each Sunday in September. But you can also watch the videos on your own, even download them to your computer. You can also read about state missions in the special State Missions Insert to the Western Recorder which was published on September 6, 2016.

kentuckygoalGifts to the Eliza Broadus Offering may be made through your church or sent directly to Kentucky WMU, 13420 Eastpoint Centre Drive, Louisville, KY  40223.  Please include the notation that your gift is for EBO.

Are you ready?

WMU Matters

Joy w Wanda LeeThis morning I started reading the September Missions Mosaic in the way I always do at the start of a new month, with Wanda Lee’s column. Even though I chaired the search committee to find her successor, there was still a lump in my throat as I read the first sentence: “Preparing this month’s From Missionary Ridge has been challenging since I realized it would be my last as your executive director.”

It was an emotional moment for me. Today is my 17th anniversary as executive director for Kentucky WMU. Wanda and I have tracked together across these years. She has been a friend and mentor. I have stayed in her home and she and Larry have stayed in ours. Wanda has been in our state on several occasions for our state WMU meeting. She is a great speaker.

We’ve had a few fun experiences with pulling off surprises. One was help with arrangements for Wanda and family to take Larry to a concert in Lexington, KY. He had no idea!  The other was when Campbellsville University surprised Wanda by awarding her an honorary doctorate. I was in on getting her family in town and keeping them from finding each other until the right moment when we were all in the press box!

Wanda’s last column was appropriately titled “WMU Matters.” She has written this column from the heart and from her “personal belief that what we do through WMU matters.”  But it was the conclusion to the column that made me cry.  During the months that the search committee has been at work, we claimed and asked others to pray with us, Ephesians 3:20-21.  Wanda concluded her column with these verses:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  (NIV)

When I read the verses she had chosen for her final words, knowing that we have been praying these verses over the past six months, knowing how God has answered in the calling out of Sandy Wisdom-Martin, I wept at God’s faithfulness.

In our office we were recently challenged to describe what we do simply, succinctly. The statement that grabbed me was “WMU facilitates missions involvement.”  When I think about ministries that we plan such as Kentucky Changers and Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids, I resonate with what Wanda says – WMU matters!  Because we have planned these missions opportunities, we help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ. In local churches and in associations, because WMU takes the lead to plan ways for people to be involved in missions, there are people who get involved for the first time and/or in ways they never dreamed possible. WMU matters!

Thank you, Wanda Lee, for your leadership for the past 20 years at the national level. I am grateful for you and pray for wonderful times with your family in retirement. And I join you and the WMU family in praying for our new leader and the future work of WMU.